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Steel jobs across the U.S. at risk according to pro manufacturing group

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A threat to steel jobs across the country sparked a rally in Fairfield this afternoon. More than a thousand people came out to the "Save Our Steel Jobs" rally at the US Steel plant.  Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Congressman Spencer Bachus, Congressman Robert Aderholt and several other local officials came out in support of steel jobs.

The rally was hosted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing. President of the group, Scott Paul, says steel jobs are at risk because foreign steel is being imported below the market price.

"These domestic producers are getting undercut by steel from Korea that's getting undercut at below market prices which is not competitive,” Paul explained.

Steel plants across the country are already seeing the effects. At US Steel’s plant in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania, the company recently announced the tubular operations will go idle indefinitely starting in August.

At the US Steel plant in Fairfield, they’ve seen something like this before. In 2009, steel producers across the U.S. were struggling to keep up with steel imported from China.

"This facility was virtually shut down. We were producing no tubular products for several weeks. And then came back on limited runs after that,” David Clark, president of United Steel Workers Local 1013, said.

The US Department of Commerce eventually placed tariffs on steel imported from China. That helped make the playing field more competitive for American steel producers.

Now manufactures are asking the Department of Commerce to do the same thing with South Korea. 

"One of the things that make sure that we can keep jobs here in Alabama are our trade laws,” Paul explained. “So that U.S. Steel here in Fairfield is competing with firms in Korea that is in a level playing field."

This is an issue that's gaining bipartisan support in Congress. Last week, 150 members of Congress signed a letter to the Department of Commerce urging tariffs to be placed on South Korean steel. A decision by the Department of Commerce if due by July 8th.

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